Panasonic M2

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This article is about the game console. For the video tape format, see Panasonic MII.
Panasonic M2
Developer The 3DO Company
Manufacturer Panasonic
Type Video game console
Generation Sixth generation era
Retail availability Cancelled
Media CD-ROM
CPU Dual 66 MHz PowerPC 602
Predecessor 3DO Interactive Multiplayer

The Panasonic M2 was a video game console design developed by 3DO and then sold to Matsushita.[1] It was exhibited and demonstrated at the 1996 Electronic Entertainment Expo.[2] Before it could be released, however, Matsushita cancelled the project in mid-1997, unwilling to compete against fellow Japanese electronics giant Sony's PlayStation and Nintendo's N64, both of which had recently had several top-selling games released for them.[2] The M2 was cancelled so close to release, marketing had already taken place in the form of flyers, and one of its prospected launch titles, WARP's D2, had several gameplay screens in circulation (a different game by WARP using the same name was later released on the Dreamcast).

Development kits and prototypes of the machine became very valuable pieces among collectors. M2's technology was integrated in the multimedia players FZ-21S and FZ-35S, both released in 1998.[citation needed] Both products were aimed at professionals working in medicine, architecture and sales, not home users. The M2 also became a short-lived arcade board by Konami. As games ran straight from the CD-ROM drive, it suffered from long load times and a high failure rate, so only five games were developed for it.

The M2 was reportedly several times (2–3) more powerful than the Nintendo 64 in terms of polygon graphics capabilities and slightly more powerful than the 3Dfx Voodoo Graphics (Voodoo1) accelerator chipset for PC cards.[citation needed] Matsushita claimed it was almost on par with Sega's Lockheed Martin-designed Model 3 arcade board.[citation needed] The Model 3 was approximately 10 times more powerful than the Nintendo 64.[citation needed] In a 1998 interview by Next Generation magazine, WARP's Kenji Eno said that Sega's Dreamcast was about three to four times more powerful than M2.[citation needed]

The M2 technology was later used in automated teller machines, and in Japan in coffee vending machines.[citation needed]

In the late 1990s and from 2000 on, the system was also sold in the interactive kiosk market. In 2000, PlanetWeb, Inc. began offering software to allow the M2 to be used as an Internet appliance.[3]

In 2010 the only completed M2 game, IMSA Racing, was made available to the public.[2]

Konami arcade games based on M2 hardware[edit]

  • Polystars (1997)
  • Total Vice (1997)
  • Battle Tryst (1998)
  • Evil Night / Hell Night (1998)
  • Heat of Eleven '98 (1998)

Technical specifications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b c Matthews, Will (December 2013). "Ahead of its Time: A 3DO Retrospective". Retro Gamer (122) (Imagine Publishing). p. 26. 
  3. ^ "Planetweb and Panasonic to Bring the Internet to the Interactive Kiosk Marketplace; Panasonic Internet-enabled M2 Interactive Kiosks to Preview at KioskCom 2000". Business Wire. 2000-04-10. Retrieved 2008-03-16. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Konami Arcade based on M2 System 16 page on the Konami arcade board based on M2 technology
  • "M2: Hit or Myth?". Next Generation magazine, June 1997, p. 63.
  • Noonburg, Derek. PowerPC FAQ, February 27, 1997.

External links[edit]